Festival presents ‘Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It’ July 23-29



A look at the life and work of Rita Moreno with all-star cast debuts at Fisher Theatre

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona premiere of the award-winning new documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” showing July 23-29 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

Over a 70+ year career, Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and beloved actor, one of the rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Award Winners of our time. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Moreno and her seamstress mother immigrated to New York City when Moreno was five years old. After studying dance and performing on Broadway, Moreno was cast as any ethnic minority the Hollywood studios needed filled, be it Polynesian, Native American or Egyptian. Despite becoming the first Latina actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in “West Side Story” (1961), the studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent.

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” illuminates the humor and the grace of Moreno, as well as lesser-known struggles faced on her path to stardom, including pernicious Hollywood sexism and abuse, a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando, and serious depression a year before she emerged an Oscar winner. Moreno’s talent and resilience triumphed over adversity, as she broke barriers, fought for representation and forged the path for new generations of artists.

In addition to Moreno, the film features an all-star cast, including George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo.

“Celebratory and highly entertaining.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“Moreno is a trailblazing icon.” — USA Today

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre July 23-29. Showtimes will be 4 p.m. on Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday, July 23, 25 and 27; and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 24, 28 and 29.

Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.

PHOTO CAPTION (can be used with any photo):

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” offers a look at the life and 70+ year career of Rita Moreno from her humble beginnings in Puerto Rico to her success on Broadway and in Hollywood where she broke down barriers, fought for representation and forged a path for new generations of artists.

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